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Bure hurt

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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers forward Pavel Bure tore cartilage in his twice-rebuilt right knee and will have arthroscopic surgery Thursday.

Bure will have an operation to fix a posterior tear of the medial meniscus, the cartilage that serves as a shock absorber, team trainer Jim Ramsay said.

An MRI on Wednesday revealed no ligament damage. The team won't know how long Bure will be out until after the operation, to be performed by Dr. Andrew Feldman.

If no additional damage is found during surgery, his knee will not have to be immobilized, and rehabilitation can begin 2-to-4 days later.

Bure was hurt Tuesday night during New York's exhibition game against the New Jersey Devils. This injury is usually caused by a twisting or a hyperextension of the knee, Ramsay said.

The 31-year-old Bure doesn't know exactly how or when he was injured but said that the knee started bothering him between the second and third periods of the Rangers' 2-1 overtime loss.

"I can't really explain it, it's just sore,'' Bure said Tuesday. "Pretty much my whole knee is sore.''

The Russian Rocket, whose high-flying offensive game centers around his quickness, didn't have the knee wrapped, nor was ice applied as he spoke to reporters on Tuesday. He had a slight limp as he walked.

Bure played 5:51 in the third period, recording two of his three shots in the game and assisted on New York's only goal. He was on the bench in overtime and wanted to play, but coach Bryan Trottier thought better of it.

"I think it was smart of Bryan because it's only a preseason game and it's better to be safe than sorry,'' Bure said.

Trottier said Bure "was chomping at the bit. He is a warrior.''

The right wing, acquired last season by New York, is quite familiar with injuries to his troubled right knee.

In March 1999, shortly after a big trade sent him from Vancouver to Florida, Bure had the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee replaced for the second time in less than four years.

Before that operation, Bure underwent surgery to repair torn cartilage, which also revealed the ligament damage. He tore the same ACL and required surgery in November 1995.

He returned to score 23 goals in 1996-97 and 51 the following season. Bure later led the NHL in goals in consecutive seasons, scoring 58 in 1999-2000 and 59 more the following season.

Bure had 12 goals and eight assists in just 12 games last season with the Rangers following the March 18 trade that brought him to New York from Florida.

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